New-look Aussies ‘copped a lot’, says Lehmann

Arab News - - SPORTS -

ADE­LAIDE: Aus­tralia coach Dar­ren Lehmann said his play­ers “copped a lot” of crit­i­cism be­fore they em­phat­i­cally halted a run of Test de­feats against South Africa, adding that he’d love to keep his new-look team to­gether.

Lehmann said he was de­lighted for the ex­per­i­men­tal side, which fea­tured five changes in­clud­ing three debu­tants, as Aus­tralia’s se­lec­tion gam­ble paid off in the third Test against South Africa.

The Aus­tralians ended a five-Test los­ing streak with a com­mand­ing sev­en­wicket vic­tory over the Proteas, af­ter be­ing well beaten in the pre­vi­ous two games of the three-Test se­ries.

“Well, we won,” he said, when asked what the dif­fer­ence was com­pared to the first two Tests, which left Aus­tralia on the verge of their first ever home Test se­ries white­wash.

“I’m just pleased for the play­ers. The play­ers have copped a lot over the last few weeks and they’ve re­sponded re­ally well. Ob­vi­ously a change of play­ers as well.

“You feel sad for the blokes who missed out in this Test match but the guys who came in did a re­ally good job... a new young group go­ing for­ward, re­ally pleased for them.”

Lehmann said the door wasn’t closed for the play­ers who were dropped, but added that he’d like to keep the new group to­gether — if that is pos­si­ble, with vary­ing play­ing con­di­tions and peaks and troughs in form.

“You’d love to have con­ti­nu­ity all the time (but) in this day and age some­times that’s not pos­si­ble,” Lehmann said.

“But you’d love to keep a group to­gether, a younger group es­pe­cially with David Warner be­ing our old­est at 30.

“If you can keep the group to­gether for five years or so, or what­ever it is — un­til the older guys go — it makes it eas­ier.

“But then you’ve got dif­fer­ent con­di­tions and blokes in and out of form. So you just have to sum it up along the way, but yeah it’d be lovely to do that.”

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